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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010172

Groundwater Pollution Sources Apportionment in the Ghaen Plain, Iran

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Arak University, Arak 38156-879, Iran
2
Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, 14155-6135 Tehran, Iran
3
Department of Water Resources Engineering & Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
4
Department of Bioresource Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract

Although Iran’s Ghaen Plain provides saffron to much of the world, no regional groundwater quality (GQ) assessment has yet been undertaken. Given the region’s potential for saltwater intrusion and heavy metal contamination, it is important to assess the GQ and determine its main probable source of pollution (MPSP). Such knowledge would allow for informed mitigation or elimination of the potential adverse health effects of this groundwater through its use as drinking water, or indirectly as a result of the consumption of groundwater-irrigated crops. Total dissolved solids, sodium, and chloride in the water of the majority of 16 wells sampled within the region exceeded World Health Organization and Iranian permissible standards for drinking water. The groundwater proved to only be suitable for irrigating salt tolerant crops under good drainage conditions. Due to the precipitation of calcium carbonate in the water supply facilities, the water from all wells was deemed unsuitable for industrial purposes. Heavy metal pollution and contamination indices showed no groundwater contamination. Analysis of ionic ratios and the application of principal components analysis indicated the MPSP to be saltwater intrusion, with the geology subtending the plain, and to a lesser extent, anthropogenic activities. Reducing groundwater withdrawals, particularly those for agricultural production by using high performance irrigation methods could reduce saltwater intrusion and improve GQ in the Ghaen Plain. View Full-Text
Keywords: saffron; salinization; health; heavy metals saffron; salinization; health; heavy metals
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Vesali Naseh, M.R.; Noori, R.; Berndtsson, R.; Adamowski, J.; Sadatipour, E. Groundwater Pollution Sources Apportionment in the Ghaen Plain, Iran. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 172.

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